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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: 1965healy]
      #5640990 - 01/24/13 04:23 PM Attachment (105 downloads)

Only one more door to be installed and this project is finished. The swing out bottom shutter went on this morning, and works perfectly. Chains hold it when it is lowered, and door bolts lock it in the closed position.

I am waiting for the shutter motor to arrive, and then we will have the 6'x16' main shutter lifted up by a small crane. The track and wheels are already finished and waiting to bolt onto the shutter.

The project has taken almost five months, but we are glad to reach the end. Now it is almost play time.

Mike Lockwood finished refiguring the 42" a couple of weeks ago, and sent it off to be recoated. I talked to Mike all through the refiguring, and found out that the mirror was worse than I thought it was. Jeannie and I have observed with many of Mike's mirrors, so we can't wait. Mike is going to deliver the mirror himself after the Winter Star Party, and will help us reinstall it and test its operation in the scope. Mike is not only the top mirror maker for large mirrors, but he loves observing also - and that is a good combination! He is going to stay for a week and observe with us to try out our New Mexico skies.

I will add a few more photos at that time.

Edited by Tom Clark (01/24/13 04:28 PM)


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5641015 - 01/24/13 04:34 PM

Tom,

Such an outstanding job. Well done! In a couple of years I'll be nearby to check on our Granite Gap property just down the road. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to meet you and Jeannie and see this incredible observatory.


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MDB
super member


Reged: 06/06/12

Loc: Idaho
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5641521 - 01/24/13 09:20 PM

Congratulations on a job well done! I really like seeing a great plan executed well. It has been really enjoyable for me to follow your build and you've planted a idea in my brain albeit a somewhat smaller one. Enjoy!

Mike


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EricGraham
member


Reged: 01/19/11

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: MDB]
      #5642350 - 01/25/13 11:11 AM

Shame on you Tom, taking a picture on a cloudy day. How do expect people to envy us here if they see we have cloudy skies too!

Eric


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Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Building a 24' Dome [Re: EricGraham]
      #5642982 - 01/25/13 05:03 PM

Eric,

When they find out that we have over 300 clear days a year they won't mind that we show the clouds now and then. I think a front is coming through. We just got home from playing golf and it is 70 degrees today.

That's not bad for the end of January, and one of the good reasons for living in SW New Mexico.

Edited by Tom Clark (01/25/13 05:04 PM)


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Peter L.
super member


Reged: 04/19/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5647531 - 01/28/13 07:57 AM

Absolutely incredible!

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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
*****

Reged: 04/24/04

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Peter L.]
      #5670927 - 02/09/13 03:43 PM

Tom and Jeannie;

I am in the RV park in Wickenburg and there is snow on the ground and the temperature is 34 degrees last night. I am glad I got some observing done during the week.

The dome looks great, I am glad that the shop we built has some usefullness;-)

Looking forward to seeing it for myself;
Steve Coe


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Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5685809 - 02/17/13 07:40 PM Attachment (72 downloads)

Update.

Since the last photo was three weeks ago, nothing has been done except for waiting for the guy with the crane. This huge door has been hogging all the space in the shop, and the scope hogging all the space in the garage.

The crane man said he would be out in about two weeks, so any day now. Once the roof is finished the scope can be moved in. Lots of photos to follow. Just got a new fisheye lens that makes it easy to post interior photos.


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brave_ulysses
super member


Reged: 04/19/09

Loc: far outside the wire
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5685827 - 02/17/13 07:47 PM

championship shop! sorta reminds me of the new yankee workshop.

maybe you could wake up this thread with a couple of pix:
"Post a Picture of Your ATM Workshop !"

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5587593/page...


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tclehman1969
sage
*****

Reged: 05/18/10

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5690079 - 02/20/13 01:06 AM

Incredible!

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Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #5702081 - 02/26/13 04:59 PM Attachment (58 downloads)

When you are building your own project you are able to work at your own pace, but once you are dependent on someone else, all falls apart. We started the dome in Sept, and by January we were nearly finished, other than waiting first for the gears and shutter motor.

I wanted all those parts on hand before having the shutter lifted up in place. Then we had to wait nearly a month waiting for the crane guy to show up. At first he said two weeks, and then he said another week and he would call. After another week of waiting, I got mad and started looking around. Finally found an air-conditioning and heating guy with a small crane, and when I spoke to him he said he would be out in an hour. An hour and a half later the shutter was up and in place!


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Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5702097 - 02/26/13 05:06 PM Attachment (55 downloads)

Of course that is when I discovered that the engineering designer for this project was not too sharp. The shutter was about 6" too short. It was supposed to overlap the bottom shutter. Oh well, things like that are easy to fix. I'll just add 6" to the bottom shutter so it goes under the top like it was planned. I think I must have used the radius for the shutter opening instead of the radius for the top of the shutter in my calculations. Duh!

I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments all through this thread. They really do help to make the job easier. It should be obvious that I am just a telescope maker, not a contractor - but the whole project wasn't that hard to do. You just take it one step at a time and before you know it we are nearing completion.

As soon as the shutter is working it will be time to get the scope installed. More photos will be posted then.


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5702309 - 02/26/13 07:17 PM

Looking good even with the error. Maybe just some flashing that is Z shaped to cover the gap?

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Mary B]
      #5702758 - 02/27/13 12:07 AM

How cool is that !!

You are going to enjoy that facility sooooooo much!
One minor little problem to fix... and you already have a plan.
And then it will be time for "first light"...

We await your report.


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5702981 - 02/27/13 07:34 AM

The trick in engineering design is to make the mistakes look like they were "done on purpose".

JimC


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Tim Gilliland
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/09

Loc: Sand Springs Okla.
Re: Building a 24' Dome new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5703047 - 02/27/13 08:33 AM

Quote:

The trick in engineering design is to make the mistakes look like they were "done on purpose".

JimC




Or as My wife says of my errors in woodworking, it gives it Character.

I really have enjoyed following this thread. Congratulations on a beautiful Observatory. Can't wait to hear first light on the refigured mirror.


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Smack
super member


Reged: 07/24/09

Re: Building a 24' Dome [Re: Mirzam]
      #5704117 - 02/27/13 07:43 PM

Quote:

The trick in engineering design is to make the mistakes look like they were "done on purpose".

JimC




It's what we aerospace engineers like to call "a feature".

Steve

ps before you get too scared, we aren't allowed to leave the features unfixed


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Peter L.
super member


Reged: 04/19/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: Building a 24' Dome [Re: Smack]
      #5704807 - 02/28/13 07:30 AM

Quote:

It's what we aerospace engineers like to call "a feature".



And I thought only us software guys used that term. "It's not a bug, it's a feature". I even have a coffee mug with that saying on it...

Peter


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EdTheEdge
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/10/09

Loc: Lomita, CA
Re: Building a 24' Dome [Re: Peter L.]
      #5705236 - 02/28/13 12:18 PM

This is a most fascinating project, thanks for sharing!

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Building a 24' Dome [Re: EdTheEdge]
      #5706396 - 02/28/13 11:21 PM

Bugs only become features after other programmers write code that is dependent upon them and will break if you fix them.

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